'Song for the Dead King'

(Self released)

MARK: 91/100


Only every now and then debut talented bands with surprising artistic solutions proving an already developed proper style, say 4/5 out of 100, and this is just one of them.
From Miass, in the Urals, comes this 5-piece with an 8-track demo-CD which could be shortly defined Symphonic tragic metal, but there're also elegant elements and several special contributions from the keyboardist that you'll need a listen with your earphones not to lose any details.

The first recorded song is also the title track, where main female opera vocals, dramatic and pompous, interlace with classical arrangements; the music includes some Gothic characteristics but it's far more elaborated and the breaks are heavier than in a typical band of that genre. There's a lot of melody too, and maybe we shoud suppose Saviour Machine and Queensryche belong to the background of the Russians.
In "Prayer" the guitars are more present, testifying a harder direction of the band in recent times, but I admit I like "Queen of Snows" even more,probably thanks to the horrific keys opening it and the mysterious feeling within it. The demonic whispered male vocals are nothing but a bright idea that preludes to a final Black metal fugue. Astonishing stuff, you can bet on that!
After the long but not complex "Treasure Hunter", in which splendid bass lines entwined with royal keyboards are conspicuous, we're witnesses of the original manner the Aerium interpret Power/Speed metal with "Sentinel", another of their older songs.
As for the romantic "Wanderer", Veronika sings lower than her usual soprano levels but turns out to be extremely sensual; this composition is enriched by airy combinations of percussions, violins and cellos, the five musicians are proud of showing us a hell of surprises within just a single composition.
What strikes the most is the lack of the typical structure of a song, as depicted by "Midnight", full of precious hints and with otherworldly male vocals appearing again for few seconds, excellently opposed to the trillings, and especially by "On the Pier", although the drum patterns keep within 8/4 and 3/4 only, whereas they would need more dynamism; on the other hand, this composition doesn't have to be undervalued, as it embodies the best vocals of the record.

The inspiration is lively, what they require now is a label that may supply them with the maximum potentialities of the recordings, necessary when you are dealing with a style rich of sound layers and details like theirs. Besides this, every fan of Symphonic, Gothic, Prog or Melodic metal had better order a copy of this disk.

MARKUS GANZHERRLICH - 20th December 2005

Veronika Sevostyanova - Vocals
Alexander Gubko - Drums
Kirill Novikov - Guitars
Andrey Grishin - Keyboards
Igor Reshentikov - Bass

P.o. Box 552, Miass, Chelyabinsk region, Russia 456320
Tel: ++7 3519021253
++7 9028605593
Fax: ++7 3513546888

E-mail: theaerium@mail.ru
Official site: http://www.theaeriumband.com/

-Song for the Dead King (CD - July 2004)